Not too long ago, I danced next to Tim Baker.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with that name, Tim Baker is the naturally handsome front man of the Newfoundland based rock band Hey Rosetta. After years of indifference to all but a couple of their songs, this past February I bought the album Seeds on a whim. I was completely won over after my first listen, and the CD was on constant play in my car for months. Even still, it is a prominent player in my CD rotation.
Listening to this band has a significance to me because they prove that being a success is possible. In the small city of St. John’s, it’s easy to see a hundred bands roll on to the music scene, and quickly fade into the distance; or see the same bands play the same venues, never getting bigger or smaller, for years on end. It’s the curse of our location: being seen and getting places can be hard.
I’m one of the many people dealing with this curse. At least I will be eventually. I am in a band that is still relatively new. We’re still finding our sound, learning what works on an interpersonal level, and have even experience line-up changes in our few months of existence. When it was first started, it was just myself and one talented friend. We were excited and enthusiastic, and we had a sort of mantra: “Hey Rosetta did it! If they can do it, why can’t we?”
The longing to be like Hey Rosetta increased recently when I came to see the band in their off time. Romesh Thavanathan was at a show I played last week (though he left early into our set). I have seen him strolling down the road. And like I said when I began this article so long ago, I danced next to Tim Baker. I left a house party with three drunken friends; walked to the Ship to see the Pathological Lovers; and found that these famous, successful musicians were doing the same thing. Just loving St. John’s and living like all its twenty-somethings do.
And that is exactly what I aspire to be.
Who wouldn’t want to spend their summer touring Canada, playing festivals, and then coming home to a place you love; just jamming new songs and living an otherwise every day life. And maybe some day, a musician will be downtown, find themselves dancing next to me, and feel the same excitement and optimism.
Just like I felt on the night I danced next to Tim Baker.